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Media Responsibility in Shaping Public Opinion in Times of Information Wars

November 23 During an international conference in Brussels, Institute of Mass Information Director Oksana Romanyuk emphasized the need to change the approach in addressing information wars, revising the definition of major propaganda while effectively battling disinformation.

“We need to fully redefine approaches when we talk about the modern information war,” Romanyuk said. “And, only after we clearly articulate, for example, what ‘fake news’ is, we can effectively counteract it. There is still no clear definition of this phenomenon; instead, it is proposed to be opposed only through media literacy and self-regulation. Similarly, I think it is necessary to abandon the term ‘propaganda,’ which is actually too blurry. In my understanding, there are several levels of this phenomenon, from random fake to misinformation. And each level requires a separate approach.”

The conference was titled “Inconvenient Truth. The Role of Media in Shaping Public Opinion about the EU and the Countries of the Eastern Partnership: Example of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian media analysts reported about information war challenges, misinformation, countering Russian propaganda, and present-day media quality. Olexiy Pogorelov, president of the Ukrainian Association of Media Business, said propaganda is often produced by professional reporters and editors. Journalists are paid well to develop, publish, and air it, and audiences cannot always distinguish propaganda from lower-quality journalism. Pogorelov stressed the role of self-regulation and the Ukrainian Commission on Journalistic Ethics in the news process.

More on Detector Media in Ukrainian.